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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 09-25-2006, 02:47 PM   #1
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Default 89 Issues

Hi all, a friend of mine from work just obtained an 89 SE Bonnie. It'* a maroon gray car with just under 100,000 miles on it, and has the usual paint fade for a maroon car. Engine and tranny are fine, but it has a few issues that could stand addressing. I'm not GM experienced, as you can tell from my name, but my brother (Gonneville) talks all of you up big time, so here goes.
The first is a heater blower fan that doesn't stop running with the key out. There'* a clicking noise coming from behind the gauges that seems to be related, I'm assuming there is a relay involved that is sticking open. If you pull the fuse for the motor, the clicking stops.
Second issue is the fact that the car was sold in Canada originally, so all the gauges (er, gages apparently!) are in metric units, which annoys the owner just a bit, because of the TINY TINY print used for the inner MPH markings. I assume that the entire cluster can be swapped, but is there anything that needs to be done to the computer? Does the ECM need to be swapped as well?
Third issue is the classic "steering wheel buttons don't work" issue. It'* pretty obviously a dirty contact or bad clockspring, because they do work at certain wheel positions, but not others. I'm not GM experienced, does anyone have a walk-through or how-to page on fixing this?
Thanks in advance for all those who can help keep this car running!
"I have a hammer! I can put things together! I can knock things apart! I can alter my environment at will and make an incredible din all the while! Ah, it'* great to be male!"

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Old 09-25-2006, 05:53 PM   #2
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#2 is a quick swap. The only thing you have to get is a cluster that is the same as what you have. It can't be from an LE or SSE and there were a few SE ones so you have to pick the one that looks exactly the same as yours [as in what gauges it has, idiot lights it has, if your car has ABS then the donor has to as well]. It'* a pretty easy swap and doesn't take that long, even for the unexperienced to tackle... the hardest part would be finding the exact right SE cluster [it'll plug in but it'll never work properly, if even at all since the connector is the same but the pinout wiring varies].

#3 is also a quick fix. You have to pull the sterring wheel off, but that'* real simple considering our cars don't have airbags. The button assmbly pops right out, you have to get a flathead screwdriver [smaller one preferably] and look for the largest space between the buttons [not the button faces, but the black plastic back] and the leather part of the wheel and pry.. it comes out easy so if it doesn't work don't pry too hard, i'm sure they are very fragile. Pull the steering wheel, and right there is a circle metal track... clean it and the balls it rides on and maybe coat it with a light coating of dielectric grease [very important-- don't skimp on that step].

EDIT: I'm 95% sure the track is BEFORE the ring gear, can anyone confirm this?
'89 SSE - GX3 -190k, 155k on body - Back for another ride.
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:48 PM   #3
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Relay sounds like a good place to start for the blower problem. Should be the third one from the passenger side on the underhood relay center.
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